Josna Rege

500. Late-Summer Morning

In Family, Nature, reflections, seasons, Stories on August 10, 2021 at 9:33 am

I’ve been waking and rising earlier this past week or so, as July has advanced inexorably into August and the start of the new academic year looms ever-larger. Now, as a three-day heatwave looms as well, I’m driven not just by dread but also by desire for the feel of the evanescent cool on my skin as I sip my morning tea. I go out to the terrace to check the progress of the chillies, jalapeño and cayenne, grown noticeably larger overnight, and to water or weed for a few short minutes while the tea is steeping. My To Do list is here, longer by the day, but there’s not much to be done until offices open at 8:30 am, so it can be set aside for now as I savor these moments of quiet.

Most mornings I open the doors to the terrace and courtyard so as to run a breeze through the house. This morning, though, it was already warmer and stickier outside than in, and the living-room carpeting was swelling and billowing underfoot, so the doors are closed and the dehumidifier running.

In the world outside, cases of COVID-19 are surging again, driven by the so-called Delta variant and throwing the fall outlook into uncertainty. I was to return to conducting most of my classes face to face, but now, especially with my hearing loss, doubts assail me and I quail at the prospect of trying to teach fully masked in a classroom that will no longer be socially distanced. My once-enjoyable ritual of shopping for a back-to-school outfit has been replaced with online research into voice amplifiers and the best masks for teachers.

Billowing out from my personal concerns, the planet’s climate woes are worsening visibly. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its latest report yesterday, and it was the direst yet; but anyone can read the signs of the catastrophe all around us. The other night, after Andrew and I had watched the evening news, I realized that every single news item— the surging global pandemic, devastating floods, raging wildfires, and the refugee crisis—had been related  to climate change.   

Back at home, I remain acutely aware of the distances between me and my far-flung family and friends, both in the United States and around the world. I wonder what they are all doing and  thinking, how they are feeling. My heart reaches out to them, telling them that I love them, that we will be together again, one day, soon. Simultaneously aware, as always, of multiple time zones, I think of dear ones in the Eastern U.S., just waking up; in California, still sleeping; in England, Germany, Spain, having lunch; in India, enjoying the cool of the evening, in Australia, asleep again; while my own day beckons, and then collars me: the alarm goes off. Time to be up and doing.

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  1. Your morning in stark contrast to the news stream. It has really got me down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me too, Kristin. That was written during a few moments of peace for me, but with the crises in Haiti and Afghanistan (along with the inane and imperialist political commentary), the fires, floods, fleeing refugees, and the surge of the Delta variant, it’s hard to maintain one’s own equanimity.

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  2. Such beautiful optimism and serenity in your morning capture, Josna. I can’t wait to see your Chilie peppers garden grow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Urmi. Maintaining that serenity as August advances—now that will be the trick. You know I will post photos of the chillies ad nauseam! xo J

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  3. Hari OM
    I went down the rabbit hole of the IPCC report and commentary thereon a little earlier – two hours later I just had to go have a cuppa and move onto matters of consciousness. Really, it was not saying anything that hasn’t been known – and by their saying it, will there be dramatic change? Not without an even more dramatic change in political thinking, big-business requirement, social expectation and individual commitment in a whole-community manner. At the beginning of COVID, one wondered if – as the world paused – this might be a moment for that change. But the world is labouring under leaders who are only interested in boosting themselves – we have so very far to go…

    So what we must do is keep focused on balancing ourselves and our own little part of the world; gardening, meditating… preparing to re-enter work and social engagement…

    Hooroo from the gloaming in the Bonny Land. YAM xx

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  4. so sweet, so dear, this entry. thank you for the “atmosphere”, josna. bine

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, bine. Nothing earth-shattering, just the usual angst this time of year. Trying to keep things low-key and to slow time down. Will let you know how that goes! Was only just thinking of you as your comment came in, and that I hadn’t heard your news for a while. xo J

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